“In accordance with the Rule, tertiaries shall receive the sacrament of penance every month or even oftener; and, when possible they shall have a competent spiritual director. They shall, moreover examine their consciences daily, and correct the sins they have committed by truly repenting of them.” Constitution Article 61
In Article 61 of our Constitution we find three “exercises” that help us to respond to Jesus’ call to conversion. These are:
1- The Sacrament of Penance, which reconciles us with God, received at least monthly. In the section on the Sacrament of Penance, the Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly presents the relationship between this Sacrament, repentance and our call to conversion.
2- Assistance from a competent Spiritual Director.
In the words of Pope Benedict XVI, “Everyone, in fact, especially those who have heeded the divine call to follow Christ closely, needs to be accompanied personally by a guide reliable in doctrine and expert in the things of God, this guide can help people to watch out for facile forms of subjectivism, making available their own knowledge and experience lived in the following of Jesus.”
3- Daily examination of conscience and repentance.
For a beautiful examination of conscience based on the Theological Virtues, by Fr. John Hardon, S.J., click here.
For a guide on examination of conscience and confession, from the Knights of Columbus, click here.
St. Bonaventure on examination of conscience:
“Therefore, O soul, make a daily examination of your life. Look carefully to see how far you have advanced and how much further you have yet to go; look at the quality of your morals, and the character of your love; examine to what degree you are like God and to what degree you are unlike God; take note of how close to God, or how far removed from God you are. Remember this always: it is better and more praiseworthy to know yourself than to ignore yourself while you come to know the course of the stars, the power of herbs, the structure of human nature, and the nature of animals- in short, all other things of heaven and earth. Turn to your inner self, if not always, then at least from time to time. Master your affections, guide your actions, correct your ways.”